BEST OF 2020 January 11, 2021

BuzzerBlog’s Best of 2020: Best Moments of 2020

Look back to some of our favorite moments and find out what stood out as the best of the best for 2020!

Game shows were an important mental and emotional escape from the nightmare that was 2020. The global pandemic made it difficult, but games rose to the occasion and put together some of the best entertainment of the year.

The BuzzerBlog staff recently got together for a live stream and discussed the best moments of 2020. This doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest wins. Game shows cover the gamut of emotions. Some make us tear up, some laugh, some scream for joy, some make us watch between our fingers…we discussed everything that left an impact on us in 2020 and debated the best of the best.

5: Elvira and the Master of Disguise (To Tell The Truth)
ABC’s To Tell The Truth has grown into one of the most consistently entertaining and engaging shows on television. The fact that it has us gasping and shouting in shock 60 years after its debut is a testament to how well the current incarnation is made. The best example of that happened during the most recent season. Early during the show Jonna Mendez tried to fool the panel as the CIA “Master of Disguise”. The biggest surprise came at the end when Cassandra Peterson shocked the panel by revealing her true identity as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. It was Jonna, though, who brought the house down with her final reveal.

4: Let’s Make A Deal Comes to Primetime in Musical Form
The fact that it took over ten years to get the current version of Let’s Make A Deal to primetime defies logic when watching the first episode in October 2020. If you’ve not been following Deal (and you really should be, it’s incredibly fun), it’s wisely transformed from the typical show which debuted in 1963 to something along the lines of an improv dinner theater. The chemistry of the cast is perfect and they, plus the production team, have turned this show into something special. The first primetime special’s opening song and dance number was unexpected and fun. It left an enormous smile on our faces and set the stage for the rest of the show. We can only hope to see much more Let’s Make A Deal in primetime in the future.

3: Jean’s Wins £100,000 at the Last Second on Beat the Chasers
Beat the Chasers, ITV’s spinoff of The Chase, surprised us all with how engrossing and addictive it is. It’s more American friendly than the daytime counterpart. The format is pitch perfect for constant edge-of-your-seat games and last-second victories and defeats. It was also very entertaining to see the Chasers interact as a team. They let their personalities shine brighter than we’ve ever seen and we couldn’t get enough. The first series culminated in an extremely exciting game where Jean battles all five Chasers for £100,000. She manages to score a victory with only one second left, sending the Chasers to their feet in congratulations and confetti in the air.

2: Emily Wins Over $450,000 on Press Your Luck
Press Your Luck is currently the model for how to make American primetime game shows. It’s got a fantastic host, it looks beautiful, great care went into balancing the game, and it’s constantly entertaining and exciting no matter what prizes are at stake. Adjustments after the first season brought some of the most exciting television in years. On the first episode contestant Emily gambled nearly $100,000 to play the final round. A string of fortunate spins had Emily at over $400,000 in cash and prizes…and it was all riding on one final heart-stopping spin. It was a win that sent everyone to their feet…the crowd, Elizabeth Banks (who deserves an Emmy for a jumping fist-pumping celebration in high heels), and us. All game shows should strive to be like this.

1: Ken Jennings Wins the Jeopardy: Greatest of All Time Tournament
The best game show moment of 2020 came at the very start. The Jeopardy!: Greatest of All Time tournament was an unexpected smash hit and, for the first time in a long time, a game show became required viewing. Tens of millions of people watched the four episode series. It became water cooler talk and you couldn’t afford to miss an episode. The best moment of the tournament, and of the year, was the entire finale. The final GOAT episode was arguably the best hour of game shows ever televised. Gutsy wagers and aggressive game play from James Holzhauer made the final Final Jeopardy more tense than it’s ever been (Jeopardy! isn’t usually meant to induce a panic attack). Ken Jennings came out victorious, claiming the title and the $1,000,000 prize. This also set the energy for the rest of the year in game shows. It promoted and altered the genre for the foreseeable future, showing tough and fast-paced quiz shows are still viable in primetime. And we’ll be feeling the ripple effects of this for a long time.

What do you think of our picks? Do you have any of your own we may have missed? Be sure to let us know on Twitter or Facebook! Stay tuned for our Best Shows of 2020 coming soon!